Well, the Masters is underway, and of course, the top-ranked golfer in the world is the story this week.  Will he get the career Grand Slam?  Will he head to Chambers Bay in two months with a Rory Slam on his mind?  Those questions are yet to be answered, but his opportunity this week seemed like a good reason to review another Irish whiskey.Rory McIlroy

Today, I’m reviewing Jameson 12-Year Select Reserve, a blended whiskey with a slightly higher percentage of pot-still whiskey than the standard Jameson label.  Another difference between the 12 year-old edition and the standard Jameson blend is that the older of the two has a bit more sherry-aged stock than its younger sibling.  The result is a whiskey that has a woodier, darker take on the standard Jameson profile.  Jameson 12-Year Select Reserve is bottled at 80 proof (40% abv).

The nose is definitely oakier than standard Jameson, taming some of the fruity alcohol notes. The nose here still yields pears, red apples, and vanilla, but also brings forth red wine notes, oak, and raisins. The palate is soft and creamy, with vanilla, whipped cream, sandalwood, pears, sweet and tart apples, walnuts, and oak. The finish is short, sweet, fruity, and slightly tannic.

Overall, this is a definite improvement on the standard Jameson blend.  There is a good bit more depth to this, and it seems that the wood has influenced this whiskey a great deal more than in younger Irish whiskeys.  The classic flavors of Jameson remain, but this has more depth and body to it.  My grade: B-.  Price: $60-70/750ml.  This is a very enjoyable whiskey, easy-drinking and pleasant all the way through; there are better value buys at this price point, though.

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